This Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef recipe is cooked slow and low and has an amazing flavor! Pair with tortillas and cilantro lime rice for a delicious tex mex meal.
What is Barbacoa?
In Mexican cooking, Barbacoa refers to shredded beef. Seasoned to perfection, it’s the “pulled pork” of the beef family.
And my recipe makes it so easy for you to make this at home!
Traditionally barbacoa is cooked in a pit (much like kalua pork). But we’re tackling the “slow and low” by using our crockpot. The result is a tender, shredded beef!
Add in all the seasoning, and you’ve go the perfect taco tuesday dinner.
- Easy weeknight meal with very little prep.
- Juicy, tender beef.
- Spicy, fruity blend of seasonings to create the ultimate flavor!
- Chuck Roast- while barbacoa is often made with beef cheeks, chuck roast is an easy readibly available cut of meat for most home cooks. The marbling and fat in the roast renders down to create a fork tender bite of beef.
- Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce- provides the smoky, spicy heat. Be sure to save the leftovers from the can in the freezer for next time!
- Spices- Garlic, cumin, oregano, kosher salt, pepper, cloves, bay leaves.
- Chicken broth- can also substitute with beef broth.
- Lime juice- both apple cider vinegar and the fresh squeezed lime juice provides the perfect acidity and freshness to this dish.
How to make Barbacoa
Add Meat. Add chuck roast to bottom of a slow cooker (crockpot). Set aside.
Make Sauce. In a food processor (or blender), combine apple cider vinegar, lime juice, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and ground cloves. Process on high until smooth. Spread over chuck roast.
Slow Cook. Add chicken broth and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Cover and heat for 6-8 hours on low.
Serve. Remove beef and shred. Remove bay leaves and return beef to crockpot. Serve on a tortilla with all the fixings.
What to Serve with Barbacoa
One of things that my family loves most about Mexican food and Cinco de Mayo is the ability to customize dinner with all your own toppings.
So whether you love avocado or onion, you can make it your own.
Here are a few of our favorite serving suggestions:
- Cotija Cheese, crumbled (or shredded cheddar)
- Guacamole (or sliced avocado)
- Pico de Gallo (or diced tomatoes and onion)
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Salsa Verde
- Black Beans
- Diced Onions, Jalapenos, lettuce, cilantro
- Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Corn Salad
You can create a “taco” by serving on a warmed flour or corn tortilla. Or turn your barbacoa into a “bowl” with all the toppings on a bed of lettuce.
Tips and Tricks
- When making the chipotle pepper paste, use only the peppers, not the sauce. You can freeze the excess from the can in ice cube trays for future recipes.
- Want to cut back on the heat? Use just the sauce from the can of adobo peppers and not use the peppers themselves. My family loves a little spice.
- If cooking a larger roast than 4 pounds, cook closer to the 8 hour mark for the most tender results.
- Make it a freezer meal. You can combine everything in a ziploc freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, dump it all the slow cooker and cook as directed.
- Or, freeze the leftovers for meals later!
- Use the leftover Barbacoa meat in tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas! Stir some in homemade mac and cheese for a zing!
- YES you can make Instant Pot Barbacoa too!!!
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Chicken Avocado Enchiladas
- Enchilada Beef Rollups
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Chili
- Pork Carnitas
This Barbacoa Beef recipe is made in the slow cooker and has an authentic mexican flair! Pair with tortillas and cilantro lime rice for a delicious tex mex meal.